About home care packages
Home care packages are subsidised packages of funding for care services in the home. These are aimed at older people who wish to remain in their home but need some help. There are four levels of packages as follows:
Level 1 – for basic care needs;
Level 2 – for low level care needs;
Level 3 – for intermediate level care needs; and
Level 4 – for high level care needs.
To be eligible for any of these packages, you need an ACAS/ACAT assessment which can be arranged by calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
Changes to home care packages
Over the past few years, the Federal Government, which is responsible for these packages, has been making a number of changes to the way home care packages are delivered. The most significant recent change was to make the packages CDC (Consumer Directed Care) which meant that recipients/consumers were able to have more say in the services that they received. This model is continuing with the latest changes coming into effect shortly.
At the moment, packages are allocated to approved providers who contact eligible consumers to fill the packages. From 27 February, 2017, packages will be allocated directly to consumers by My Aged Care according to priority protocols. Once a consumer has been notified that they have been allocated a package, the consumer will be able to select providers from an approved list and will be able to move the package from one provider to another if they wish.
The purpose of these changes is to make the market for home services more competitive and to give consumers more choice. However, it is still up to the consumer to find the best deal in the market.
If you have been assessed as eligible for a package before 27 February 2017 but have not found a provider by that date, you will have received a letter from My Aged Care advising you to contact them to say you would like to remain on the list to be allocated a package. You will keep your same spot on the priority list even if you call after 27 February.
What to do when you get a package
- Work out whether it is cost effective for you to take up the package. For example, a Level 1 or Level 2 packages is often less cost effective than paying for the services privately unless you are a full pensioner. You can work out what the package might cost you by using the home care fee estimator on the My Aged Care website.
- Shop around for the best provider, both in terms of what they can offer and how much it will cost you. Before you start shopping, have a list of the services you want. Do you need transport or cleaning? Do you need help showering or with shopping and food? Do you need allied services or nursing?Understanding what you need before you start shopping will make the exercise much easier.
If you need help finding the best home care for you, we can do it for you. Call us on 1800 744 676 for an obligation free chat.
Until next time,
Sara and Margaret